How to talk to your teen about about social distancing

Parenthood already requires lots of heart-to-heart talks with your teen, but in the age of coronavirus, there is one more topic to add to the list: social distancing.

As quarantine fatigue gets stronger and the weather grows warmer, the urge to get outside and experience something normal is strong. As some states begin to loosen gathering restrictions, we hear an increasing number of news stories that profile big crowds at beaches and large rebellious parties. As more of these stories appear on the news, people come to see those situations as the new norm, not the exception. And it has the potential to be a very dangerous mistake, especially when it comes to teens.

Teens have certainly been uniquely impacted these last several months. Milestones have been canceled, routines have been disrupted, and social connections have been weakened. It’s understandable that these factors, combined with their age and feelings of invincibility, could prompt them to engage in risky behaviors.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to have regular continued talks with your teen about social distancing. Not only do they increase their own risk of contracting coronavirus while getting close to others, but they also risk the health of their family members, some of whom might have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems.

If you know your teen has not adhered to social distancing or if you feel like they would choose not to when presented with the opportunity, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation about the impact and potential consequences. If you’re not sure how to broach the topic, these articles provide an excellent starting point:

My 14-Year-Old Isn’t Social Distancing. What Should I Do?
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/well/family/teenager-social-distancing-parenting-coronavirus.html

How to Social-Distance as America Opens Back Up
https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-to-social-distance-as-america-opens-back-up

What to Do When Your Teen Isn’t Taking Social Distancing Seriously
https://grownandflown.com/hard-teen-social-distance/



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